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Thursday, June 27, 2019

REVIEW: BAXXTAR Pro-Series V-Mount X4 Charger

The 4-way V-Mount charger from the BAXXTAR Pro-Series

The German company Bundlestar, who created the fantastic BAXXTAR Compact-serie V-Mount batteries (review here, go check it out!) have added something new to their growing collection of fantastic camera gear. Their BAXXTAR product line can best be described as high quality products at an affordable price where all their knowledge of the past years comes together. No wonder I was eager to try out their newly developed charger for all your Sony, RED and DSLR V-Mount batteries with the capability of simultaneously charging 4 V-Mount Li-ion batteries at once!

The X4 charger comes neatly packed with everything included

First Impression
The BAXXTAR Pro-Series V-Mount X4 Charger comes neatly packed in it’s box and when taking out the X4 Charger, a few things will immediately catch your attention. For one, the charger is pretty compact and lightweight while it still has all the bells and whistles. The charger has a sturdy metal body with black paint and has a neat integrated carry handle on top. Weighing about 2 kg, this is indeed a portable charger. But why would it be handy to carry around a charger? Normally you would just plant it on a desk somewhere or store it at a different out-of-the-way location and bring your batteries to the charger, so the charger doesn’t necessarily needs to be portable, right? Actually in this case I really like the X4 charger to be portable. And the reason for it is something I’ll explain in the next part.

BAXXTAR's latest addition to their Pro-Series, the X4 Charger

The super slim design is actually very convenient for travelling and taking this BAXXTAR X4 charger with you on set in no problem at all. It's like carrying two extra V-Mount batteries with you. You can bring it with you to always have batteries ready to go on a day long shoot, but the charger also comes with an 4-pin XLR DC cable which means you can actually use the charger directly as a camera power supply. Most professional camcorders have a XLR DC input to provide the camera with power without the need of a battery attached. Normally these power supplies are extremely pricey, but you simply get it as an added bonus with this BAXXTAR X4 Charger. They also made sure to include a longer cable so that you have more freedom to move around!

Imagine this. You and your crew arrived at the shooting location and have found a place to setup your equipment. If you're near a power outlet you can simply use the charger to get power to your camera and not waist your batteries on set up alone. Also, if you have to do a lot of interviews for example or are filming stationary from a tripod, you don't have to worry about power anymore, because you can simply use the charger as a power supply exclusively. There have been many moments during filming where I'd wish my charger would double up as a power supply! But you could also use the charger to give power (15V 4A / 60W maximum) to your lights, monitor or other accessories and keep them running all day long without the need of bringing extra batteries.

But of course the real strong suit of this charger, is the charging itself. This is not your standard sequential charger that will charger your 4 mounted batteries one at a time. This is a parallel charger. Which means that if you have mounted four 95 Wh V-Mount batteries during a shooting break for example, in about 1 hour, all these batteries will have gained back 50% of power capacity! Comparing that to a sequential standard charger, this would be just one battery being charged up to 50%. This is where the BAXXTAR X4 Charger really shows it's value for important video and film production shoots.

With the BAXXTAR product line you truly get everything you could possible ask for and then some. The Pro-Series V-Mount X4 Charger is a fast charger and delivers 3A at each mounted Li-ion V-mount battery. It doesn’t matter if you are charging one or four batteries at once, you’ll still get a consistent fast charging, thanks to the Micro-Controller Unit.

Front view of the BAXXTAR X4 V-Mount battery charger

Rear view of the BAXXTAR X4 charger showing the fan opening

The BAXXTAR X4 charger being used as a camera power supply

From the BAXXTAR Pro-Series there’s also a dual V-Mount charger available. The BP-2CH, which is also discussed at the BAXXTAR V-Mount Compact-Serie review I did earlier (click here for the review). You can see both in the pictures below. I was actually surprised when I placed the dual charger next to the new BAXXTAR X4 charger. Although the X4 charger is longer, as is to be expected having to charge 4 V-Mount batteries simultaneously, the dual charger is actually higher. So in terms of dimensions, there’s actually little difference between the two. Basically, if you lay down the dual charger flat on the floor it’s similar to the X4 charger! Wait, how did they do that? I’ve seen quad V-Mount chargers being much bulkier and having a lot more weight to them, then this nice and compact design from BAXXTAR's 4-way charger. But still it performs the same as you would expect as from any other quad charger. So there’s no need to hide your V-Mount charger in some dusty ol' office, but can proudly display this BAXXTAR charger anywhere you like. The design is very nice. I already had people asking me about what it was, thinking it belonged to my desktop computer and looked very quote unquote: 'cool'. I happen to agree on that statement!

The BAXXTAR dual and quad charger next to each other

The dual and quad charger both seen from the side

How does it work?
This is as simple and straightforward as it can possible be. Or in more technical terms: easy piecie. You can mount up to 4 V-Mount batteries to the X4 charger, you power on the charger and put the three-position switch to ‘charger’. And that's basically it! The 4 light indicators located at the front of the charger, one for every battery, will light up red which means they are charging. When all lights are green, the charging process has completed and you have a full set of 4 V-Mount batteries fresh and ready to use on your next big shooting adventure! If you put the three-position switch to adapter, it will provide power directly to your camera through the included 4-pin XLR DC cable and the indicator light bulb ‘adaptor’ will light up. And that’s it! Simplicity is key.

The X4 charging all four BAXXTAR compact V-Mount batteries simultaneously

The green lights indicate that the charging has completed

Side view showing the BAXXTAR Compact-Serie V-Mount batteries being charged

Technical information
For the technical nerds out there who are like me and love getting their hands on some technical information, here are the specifications (and a quick overview) of the BAXXTAR X4 Charger, that tells you even more about this great charger:

  • Charge 4 V-Mount Li-on batteries simultaneously
  • Fast charging at 3A for each mounting slot
  • Usable as camera power supply
  • Micro-Controller Unit (MCU)
  • Can be used worldwide (supporting 100-240V power input)
  • Durable gold plated contacts
  • Power indicator bulbs
  • Easy carry top handle for added portability
  • Input: AC 100V-240V 50Hz-60Hz
  • Output: DC 16,6V 3A
  • Output XLR: (15V 4A / 60W max)
  • Dimensions: 245 (L) x 180 (W) x 115 (H) mm
  • Temperature: -10 degree C - 40 degree C
  • Weight: 2 kg
  • 1x V-Mount X4 Charger
  • 1x 4-pin XLR DC cable
  • 1x AC EU cable
  • 1x AC UK cable
  • 1x quick start guide

After all this talk about the great capabilities of this sequential quad charger with the added power supply function, you might think this charger must cost a lot of money. I did too. But the price might just be the most surprising part about this charger! I’ve seen quad chargers from prime and non-prime manufacturers with a price tag of around 700 euros. Talking about pro video equipment this actually might not surprise anyone. Although arguably not a good thing, we’re used to these type of prices even for the most simple accessories, since everything needs to be of the highest quality, durable and reliable. But the products of BAXXTAR’s Pro-series have proven again and again that something reliable and of high quality doesn’t always need to have a high price tag attached to it. There’s currently an offer running on the BAXXTAR Pro-Series V-Mount X4 Charger on Amazon and you can get it for just 349 euros. You probably need some time to let that sink in... Yes that’s 50% lower in price then most other quad chargers out there!

BAXXTAR's X4 Charger with all four Compact-Serie V-Mount batteries

There’s really little else to say about this 4-way charger from the BAXXTAR Pro-Series then pick one up if you are in need of one! Because it’s the best deal you can find. Period. It has the latest technology onboard like a Micro-Controller Unit (MCU), that will keep your batteries running and healthy for a long time to come and the charger also doubles as a DC power supply for your professional camera equipment. It has fast charging capabilities, it’s slim and portable and looks great on any desk or on location. But that’s just a nicely added bonus that I just have to keep mentioning.

The price is incredible and way below any other quad charger out there, while still providing you with the reliability and durability you need during demanding shoots. That’s a true no brainer if you ask me. So if you’re in need of a V-Mount charger, then look no further and pick this one up from a trusted German company who has been in the battery business for many years.

Here’s a direct link to their current offer on Amazon right now:
BAXXTAR Pro-Series V-Mount 4 Channel Charger

Interested in other BAXXTAR Pro-Series products? 

Check out the review I did on their Compact V-Mount Batteries and Dual Charger here!


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